by Kenneth Justice
~ Yesterday on BBC I was listening to a story about the lack of refrigerators in various countries around the world and the impact that it has upon world health. I hadn’t realized that refrigerators and health safety are believed to be connected. After all, humanity seemed to get along just fine for thousands upon thousands of years without refrigerators, so why are these electronic cooling machines now believed to be so direly connected to the future of humanity?
To be honest, I myself could get along without a refrigerator just fine. Perhaps I am an oddball, but I go grocery shopping every single day. You see, a few years ago I made the decision to cut back on my grocery costs and to place a higher emphasis on fresh and healthy eating; this meant no more frozen or canned foods since my goal was to eat fresh fruit and vegetables each day.
Surprisingly enough, stopping at the grocery store for a few minutes on my way home from work every day became one of the most enjoyable parts of my day, and I couldn’t believe how much money I began saving. When I used to go grocery shopping once a week I would estimate what foods I would need and by the end of the week, I was almost sure to have found that certain foods had spoiled (especially particular fruits and vegetables) in my refrigerator, or if they hadn’t spoiled; after sitting in the back of my fridge for the week they no longer looked as appetizing as when I had first picked it up off the shelf.
Buying fresh fruits and vegetables is incredibly inexpensive. For instance, for yesterday’s dinner I had fresh cabbage and baked potatoes; it was enough to feed about six people, and the whole meal cost $4; the head of cabbage was 50 cents, and the potatoes were $2.50, and I also picked up some croissants that you warm in the oven for $1. I threw in some fresh garlic, butter, salt, and pepper that I already had at home, but the cost of those four ingredients were in the pennies as well.
However, putting aside the low cost of making fresh meals, the most exciting thing I learned about my new lifestyle of stopping at the grocery store every day was the people I began meeting. After all, every day around four o’clock I was always at the grocery store and I started getting to know the people who work there, as well as some of the other customers (the neighbors from my community).
It’s been nearly five years of my new way of life when it comes to grocery shopping and I can’t see myself going back to the old way anytime soon, and I often wonder what life would be like if all of my neighbors stopped by the grocery store every day; how different would our culture be if we began connecting with each other in the way humans have done throughout our history?
Going to the market has been a major element of human culture for thousands of years, but sadly, the refrigerator has entirely changed the experience, and I dare I say it has nearly, all but killed the experience of going to the market?
Categories: Culture & Society